A Common Misunderstanding Cleared – Psychologists Versus Counsellors

Mental health is a vastly researched and growing area in the field of psychology, psychiatry, etc. Every now and then, there are many who visit these professionals for various psychological or social problems. Psychology in simple terms is the study of understanding behaviour, thoughts and feelings. While it may sound, as if it’s hard to do it, researchers and academic professionals have ways to find these. Above all, with increased knowledge and access to information many are still under a misconception.

This confusion is related to the differences between the profession of psychologists and counsellors. This notion is very strong among many laypersons and also other professionals. As a fact, it’s important to bring about the awareness between these two professions. Here are some facts about the aforementioned jobs:

• Credentials and experience

A major distinction between psychologists and counselors are their credentials that are required to practice their profession. In many countries such as US and UK, psychologist are required to complete their PhD. to be registered and obtain license. It includes 5- 6 years of studying and 2 years of training under a licensed professional.

A counsellor on the other hand, could complete a diploma and get some training and then pursue their career. While, some complete their bachelors or masters and start practicing. The rules aren’t strict for those pursuing this profession.

• Behaviors and deeper cognitions versus clients concerns or problems

One of the main differences between the role of practicing psychologists and counsellors is that, the former professional focuses on the behaviour and deep thought processes as well. While, counsellors give priorities to the problems (e.g. thoughts, feelings, etc.) that the client has.

• Diagnosing

At the first glance of the word diagnosing, you might think that they label and treat a sickness as a doctor. However, for example diagnosing is referred identifying a disorder. It’s conducted only by a clinical or neuropsychologist to identify if the client has a mental disorder such as depressions, ADHD, etc. However, counselling doesn’t involve diagnosing clients and identifying these disorders.

• Treating (interventions) for major psychological problems

Almost linked to the previous point, psychotherapists deal with clients with major behavioural, cognitive and emotional problems. Through intensive research, they develop treatment inventions (E.g. ABA, CBT, etc.) to help individuals manage and function normally. Having said that, distress counselling in Melbourne CBD doesn’t involve treating clients with such severe mental illnesses and extensive interventions.

Based on the aforementioned, points you might be able to clear your confusions and doubts regarding the two professions. If you have a marital problem, you could visit both these professionals. However, there’s more to it, when you meet a psychologist compared to meeting a counselor.

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